Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Kristen Wiig's Bridesmaids: The women are coming to Turkey

The comedy “Bridesmaids” hits Turkish theaters this week and finally writer-actress Kristen Wiig, along with director Paul Feig, shows us that women are actually human beings who have a sense of humor and can be as vile and vicious as men.

Surely this is not the image that might agree with some people's prudent sensibilities, but “Bridesmaids” with its unashamed and unapologetic humor shows us a fragment of the truth and provides much relief for many women out there who are afraid to acknowledge they too can err, swear and make a mess of themselves. And guess what, that's simply fine.

It all starts with a rather raunchy scene with 30-something Annie (Kristen Wiig) copulating with her on-and-off boyfriend Ted (Jon Hamm of “Mad Men,” who looks extremely annoying here). This union is not love, and by the way the fact that Annie accepts to be treated so humiliatingly by shallow Ted just goes to show that this is only the surface of her problems with self-esteem. Annie looks like a genuinely nice person but her life is in a downward spiral. After the recession she ends up shutting down her much-loved bakery and moves in with a rather mentally challenged and annoying English brother and sister (comedians Matt Lucas and Rebel Wilson). At least Annie's still got her best friend, Lillian (Maya Rudolph), in her life, who provides her with the sanity she needs. But that's about to change as well.

When Lillian accepts her boyfriend's marriage proposal, warning bells start ringing for Annie -- she doesn't have a fulfilling relationship, she's got a job she hates at a jewelry store and she's got no money. Annie realizes that her life is stuck in a complete rut while she admires and envies Lillian's happiness.

Nevertheless she will be the maid of honor at Lillian's wedding and organize the bridal shower and bachelorette party. Things take quite a funny twist when she meets the other eccentric bridesmaids and Lillian's new friend, the all-perfect and rich Helen (Rose Byrne being as prissy as possible). Annie and Helen take a dislike towards each other from the onset and the rivalry begins to overwhelm Lillian during the arrangement of the bridal activities. It's been a long time since we have seen the wickedly enjoyable tug of war between two women on the big screen -- it's not at all pretty but it is indeed hilarious.

The ensemble cast of Bridesmaids is impeccably selected for this film, for each of the women have their own quirks and represent a range of contemporary women. Megan (the talented Melissa McCarthy) is a tough government official who likes to take a head-on approach to life. Then there is Rita (Wendi McLendon-Covi), a mother of three sons who cannot wait to escape her life through the bachelorette party, and good girl Becca (Elie Kemper), who still naively believes in the power of love. And of course there is Helen, who is not as polished as she seems. These five interesting and real women make the backbone of the film along with Annie.

The dialogue and narrative of the film is written with wit and ingenuity. A scene that takes place on an airplane could be the funniest scene of the year in cinema along with a bridal fitting that goes very wrong and ends up being so unexpectedly grotesque that you will not be able to refrain from laughing hard.

Yet, it isn't just the brave humor that this film excels in, but its presentation of Kristen Wiig's layered performance and her ability to write a funny and profound story about a woman who has hit rock bottom. It's not easy to create a character that's so lovable when she makes so many mistakes and ends up hurting loved ones, but Wiig writes and acts with such charm and ingenuity that Annie becomes someone who you can relate to and empathize with. You can imagine meeting her in real life, you can imagine her being your friend, unlike many of the other picture perfect heroines of the chick flick genre.

“Bridesmaids” is not a feminist manifesto in itself, but it is an authentic story of the modern woman -- an honest portrayal of a gender that exists in its own right not as an extension of its male counterpart, as is portrayed in most Hollywood comedies of such endearing vulgarity. This film is for women and for men, so don't miss this insightful and vivacious opportunity.



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